Pregnancy Leave of Absence

Can My Employer Deny Me Leave of Absence for Pregnancy?

A pregnancy leave of absence must be granted in any case where the employer has five or more employees. L ength of employment is irrelevant—even one day is sufficient. A pregnancy leave of absence is unpaid and may last up to four months. At Alan Burton Newman, PLC, our Los Angeles employment lawyer wants to help protect your rights for pregancy leaves.

Generally, employers resent holding a job open for four months and resist this leave of absence, especially for a small company. However, the rights of the pregnant women are paramount. Even though the leave of absence is unpaid, there are various state statutes, such as disability, which provide income to the mother and do not require the assistance of a Los Angeles employment lawyer.

Your Rights under the California Family Rights Act

The Fair Employment and Housing Act is enforced by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), it contains family care and medical leave provisions, known as the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), for California employers with fifty (50) or more employees. In addition to the leave requirements covered under the CFRA, employers with five (5) or more employees also have obligations in regards to California's Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) law, which is also enforced by the DFEH.

A California employee who is incapable of working due to pregnancy is entitled to at most four months of unpaid disability leave, which she may take before or after the birth, or during any period of time in which she is physically unable to work because of pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition.

Employees have the right to take pregnancy disability leave as well as leaves they are entitled to under the CFRA. For example, an employee can use her four months of allotted pregnancy disability leave for her pregnancy and she can take a leave of 12 weeks to bond with her newborn.

What Is My Responsibility As an Employee?

There is some potential in California regulations that an employer could deny you maternity leave if you do not give them sufficient advance notice. For this reason, it is encouraged that you give your employer notice as soon as possible about the possibility of your need to take maternity leave. In your notice, inform your employer of the estimated date and duration of your pregnancy leave. Giving your employer a written notice protects your rights. Provide your employer this notice at least 30 days before you take maternity leave, or as soon as possible.

If you would like to request reasonable accommodation from your manager for a pregnancy-related or birth-related disability, it is also advised that you do so 30 days prior to your need for the accommodation, if possible. It is also recommended that you make an effort to accommodate your employer when arranging medical appointments, to the extent that you can and that your healthcare provider recommends.

Do I Have a Right to My Job After Taking a Pregnancy Leave of Absence?

Yes, you do. Your employer cannot fire you or otherwise discriminate against you after taking a maternity leave of absence. Your employer must give you back your same job or a comparable position. In fact, if you ask your employer for a guarantee in writing that you can have your job again when you are back from your pregnancy leave of absence, your employer is required by law to give you this written assurance. The exception to this is if your employer can prove that business reasons are the cause for your release. Your employer must be able to prove that the action was taken for business purposes and not in relation to your pregnancy leave of absence. It’s important to know that the law protects and favors employees who are mothers, and that the burden of proof always lies with the employer.

Taking Action to Protect Your Rights Is Important

Both state and federal laws protect female employees who are pregnant or believed to be pregnant from discrimination based on their pregnancy. You deserve to know about the laws that protect you. Our California employment discrimination lawyer can answer your questions. Examples of illegal treatment at work includes:

Employment discrimination is hugely problematic, and you deserve to protect your rights. Our firm can help you. We understand the California state and federal laws that protect your rights. Our Los Angeles pregnancy leave of absence attorney can stand up for your interests if you were the victim of illegal discrimination. In California:

  • You do not have to earn maternity leave. California law ensures that all female employees are entitled to maternity leave, no matter how long they have been employed.
  • You cannot be fired or discriminated against based on pregnancy.
  • You may be entitled to healthcare coverage during your pregnancy leave of absence.
  • You may be entitled to accrue regular benefits such as pension, accident insurance, seniority, and so on, during your maternity leave.

Contact an Experienced Employment Law Attorney in Los Angeles

Employees are afforded other rights and responsibilities with respect to their salary and benefits during both types of leave, and there are specific conditions pertaining to leave entitlement and return to work rights. If need more information about pregnancy leave of absence, it is advised that you speak with Los Angeles employment law attorney, Alan Burton Newman.

With 40+ years of experience and insight, we provide leave of absence FAQ. If you are a victim of discrimination due to pregnancy, Attorney Newman can explain your rights and legal remedies available under state and federal employment law.

Get started with your free consultation; contact our firm today!